Cicero, ad Att. 1.14.5

Author: Tatum, William Jeffrey
Title: Cicero, ad Att. 1.14.5
Review/Collection: "Classical Quarterly", 36, 2
Year edition: 1986
Pages: 539-541
Keywords: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries
Description:   Constans, who defends the unanimous reading of the manuscripts, explains ‘tertium’ as a reference to two previous senatus consulta which Fufius did not veto . The problem with this interpretation is that Fufius is not even mentioned in the passage Constans cites; in fact, this letter marks Fufius' first appearance in the correspondence. On the basis of what is preserved it is difficult to see how Atticus could have divined such a meaning in Cicero's ‘tertium’. Scholars have preferred to emend. The proposals of Graevius and Manutius have been criticized by Shackleton Bailey on the grounds that ‘concessit’ cannot mean ‘non intercessit’ in the absence of any mention of previous intercessory action on Fufius' part. However, in view of Cicero's description of the tribune in ad Att. 1.14.1, Atticus would have been no less puzzled if Fufius' failure to veto went unexplained. No earlier allusion to Fufius is necessary. Both ‘territus’ and ‘tum’ provide an explanatory context for Fufius' behaviour which makes the word play in ‘concessit’ understandable and perfectly acceptable. Shackleton Bailey's own suggestion does not suit the context of the letter, as Ph. Moreau demonstrates in some detail. In addition to the arguments adduced by Moreau, it is important to notice that Shackleton Bailey's reading fails to conform to the confident and victorious mood of the letter or to the plot of the relevant paragraph : once Cato's intrusion has focused the resentment of the Senate against Clodius' supporters and his tactics, Cicero depicts Clodhis 'position as increasingly abject.
Author initials: Tatum 1986